Jaundice and Phototherapy Bead
Up to 90% of newborns will develop some degree of jaundice within the first week of life, and almost all premature babies will begin to show signs during the first few days. Bilirubin is the by-product of the body’s recycling of red blood cells. As the excess red blood in the infant’s circulation begin to breakdown in the first few days after birth, they release what is called bilirubin, which causes the yellowish coloring of the skin and eyes. Bilirubin is normally processed by the liver and excreted in the stool. The most common treatment for jaundice is light therapy, also known as phototherapy, and often referred to as “bili lights.” During phototherapy the baby is exposed to special lights that often look blue/green/white. Bilirubin is very sensitive to the light and it will begin to breakdown and be excreted in the baby’s stool.
This bead represents the time spent under the lights in the fight against the potential dangerous effects of jaundice.